23 episodes

Conversations with leaders in biotechnology, medicine, environmental science, bioinformatics, marine and synthetic biology, health policy and law, consulting, venture capital and more to highlight interesting and growing fields in science. The goal is to help introduce undergraduate students in biology-related programs to the many paths available to them. You can reach out to us here: spindlepodcast.com

Spindle Spindle

    • Business

Conversations with leaders in biotechnology, medicine, environmental science, bioinformatics, marine and synthetic biology, health policy and law, consulting, venture capital and more to highlight interesting and growing fields in science. The goal is to help introduce undergraduate students in biology-related programs to the many paths available to them. You can reach out to us here: spindlepodcast.com

    16. Investing in the Future of Healthcare and Getting into Finance as a Science Student with Jordan Robinson

    16. Investing in the Future of Healthcare and Getting into Finance as a Science Student with Jordan Robinson

    “It basically completely changed the outcome for patients with that type of cancer. That just game changing innovation got me really excited, and I really started thinking that something to do with that is what I want to do.” Jordan Robinson is an associate at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, where he works within the thematic investing group to identify long-term trends and changes in society and invest in the companies that are exposed to/driving those changes.

    Jordan earned a Med Sci/Ivey HBA dual degree, a Master’s in neuroscience, and an MD, all from Western. On today’s episode, Jordan talks about his path to CPP, getting from science to finance, his long-term career philosophy, and what’s next in healthcare.

    This episode was made possible by the generous support of the University Students’ Council at Western University.

    Producer: Jay

    Timestamps:

    (1:46); Introduction and current role

    (4:51); Path to finance

    (17:40); Time spent in school and career philosophy

    (21:18); Merging medicine and finance

    (25:24); Making the switch

    (35:11); Med Sci/Ivey HBA Dual

    (41:01); How science undergrads can figure out if finance is for them

    (49:38); So you know finance is for you, now what?

    (54:42); General advice

    (59:59); Networking

    (1:02:21); Exciting new developments in healthcare

    (1:08:13); Merging tech and bio

    • 1 hr 15 min
    15. Project Management and Veterinary Technician School with Helena Smith

    15. Project Management and Veterinary Technician School with Helena Smith

    From volunteering in an elephant sanctuary to working on the business side of continuing education programs for veterinary professionals, Helena has seen a wide array of opportunities within the realm of animal medicine. The University of Guelph alumna did her undergrad in biological sciences and then chose to attend Vet-Tech School at Sheridan college. In today’s episode, Helena speaks to why she chose to walk away from clinical practice and into a role as a project manager (PM), choosing between veterinary school and veterinary-technician school, and the importance of beginning to network during your undergrad.

    This episode was made possible by the generous support of the University Students’ Council at Western University.

    Producer: Mayuri  

    Timestamps:

    (2:17); Introduction and educational background

    (4:41); Switching gears in your career and finding transferable skills within your degree

    (12:27); Should you stick to a career in science?

    (17:11); Choosing between a DVM (Vet School) and a Vet-Tech Diploma (Vet-Tech School)

    (21:13); Project management vs. clinical practice and how to succeed

    (29:06); Working at an animal sanctuary and wildlife rehabilitation centre in Thailand

    • 34 min
    14. Synthetic biology and getting into a great grad program with Maximillian Soltysiak

    14. Synthetic biology and getting into a great grad program with Maximillian Soltysiak

    Glowing trees? Self-fertilizing plants? Maximillian Soltysiak is a PhD Candidate in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Department at Harvard Medical School. He’s a recent graduate of the Honours Biochemistry and Genetics program at Western. In today’s episode, Maximillian talks about getting great lab experience early in undergrad, building a competitive grad school application, the value of an honours thesis, how he developed an interest for synthetic biology, and how to pick between grad school offers.

    This episode was made possible by the generous support of the University Students’ Council at Western University.

    Producer: Jay.

    Timestamps:

    (1:38); Introduction and educational background

    (2:21); Starting a PhD during the pandemic

    (5:00); Differences in structure between Canadian PhD programs and American PhD programs

    (8:14); Figuring out if a grad program is a good fit for you

    (18:52); Building a competitive grad school application

    (22:06); Should you do an honours thesis?

    (28:06); Maximillian’s undergraduate research experiences

    (39:31); Self-fertilizing plants and glow-in-the-dark trees

    (54:24); Advice for undergrads

    (58:42); What if you get to the end of third-year, have close to no real research experience, and realize you want to go to grad school

    • 1 hr 3 min
    13. Combining Medicine, Tech, and Business to Transform Dementia Care with Rishawn Dindial

    13. Combining Medicine, Tech, and Business to Transform Dementia Care with Rishawn Dindial

    Rishawn Dindial is a MD/MBA candidate at Tulane University in New Orleans. He is also the founder of Memoryz, a software company that aims to revolutionize dementia care. Rishawn earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and biology from the University of Toronto in 3 years, and he worked in full-time roles at Uber and Maple before moving to America for medical school.

    In today’s episode, Rishawn talks about his path to medical school, starting a software company without a background in computer science, his plans to build an interdisciplinary career at an intersection of medicine, tech, and business, and more.

    This episode was made possible by the generous support of the University Students’ Council at Western University.

    Producer: Jay.

    Timestamps:

    (2:01); Educational background

    (3:00); Why Rishawn decided to finish undergrad in 3 years

    (5:27); The type of person Rishawn was in undergrad

    (8:50); Mentorship

    (11:38); Working at Uber and Maple

    (16:50); Building a software company without a background in CS

    (19:05); How medicine, business, and tech fit together 

    (21:51); Why an MD/MBA program in America

    (27:36); Founding Memoryz

    (33:36); Managing studying for STEP 1, running a company, and being a full-time MD/MBA student

    (37:37); Things undergrads should pay more attention to

    (42:34); Advice for students in science 

    • 47 min
    12. Management Consulting at Bain and How to Pick a Great Grad School Project with Safee Mian

    12. Management Consulting at Bain and How to Pick a Great Grad School Project with Safee Mian

    “There is a demand for professionals who can analyze data, solve problems, think on their feet, and successfully manage projects. As graduate students, the skills we learn in the lab setting are highly translatable, but we need to know how to apply them in different settings.”

    That quote is from an interview Safee did for a feature article when he graduated with his PhD in Biochemistry from Western in 2019. Since then, Safee has been working as a management consultant for Bain & Company. On this episode, Safee talks about his path from a purely science background to management consulting, his experience working at Sanofi Pasteur through the science internship program at Western, the skills he learned during his PhD that translate to his work at Bain, and more.

    This episode was made possible by the generous support of the University Students’ Council at Western University.

    Producer: Jay.

    Timestamps:

    (1:27); Educational background and current role

    (4:07); Why switch from a master’s program to a PhD instead of finishing the master’s and THEN doing a PhD?

    (8:25); How important is an undergrad honours thesis for getting into grad school?

    (11:19); Tips for picking a great grad school project

    (14:54); Why do a PhD? And how Safee got interested in management consulting

    (23:55); How do you learn “the business stuff” that you’ll need to know to work in management consulting, coming from a purely science background?

    (27:44); What’s it like working as a consultant at Bain?

    (30:47); The skills you learn during your PhD that transfer over to consulting

    (34:19); Why a non-traditional path after your PhD as opposed to academia?

    (35:24); Does a master’s degree cut it for recruiting at the major management consulting firms or do you need a PhD?

    (37:15); The questions undergrads should be asking themselves when considering a master’s or PhD program

    (42:19); Overall advice for science undergrads

    Link to the article referenced at the start of the description: http://bit.ly/3sVoGLO

    • 45 min
    11. Vertical Development and Reflecting on 34 Years of Haffie Bio with Tom Haffie

    11. Vertical Development and Reflecting on 34 Years of Haffie Bio with Tom Haffie

    Tom Haffie has taught tens of thousands of biology students over his teaching career at Western. On today's episode, he walks us through the ups and downs of his journey and speaks to the lessons he has learned along the way. Tom also shares some of his tips on carving out space to be creative and to succeed in a hyper competitive world, and talks about his lily pad theory of career progression.

    This episode was made possible by the generous support of the University Students' Council at Western University. 

    Producer: Jay. 



    Timestamps:

    (1:53); Educational background and what got Tom into teaching

    (3:46); What it's like being a professor? And reflecting on having taught tens of thousands of students over 30 years

    (19:20); Introspection and finding the space to be creative

    (23:03); Biology and archeology

    (25:52); The importance of being open and not pigeonholing yourself

    (30:35); Tom's lily pad theory of career progression

    (38:03); Horizontal vs. vertical development

    (39:49); Applying complexity theory to education

    (45:27); Treating your undergraduate career as an infinite game

    (51:22); Recommended books

    (54:34); Biology isn't going to solve world hunger

    (1:00:51); Simple solutions to complex problems just create more problems

    (1:03:21); Looking at COVID, education, and success from the lens of an infinite game

    (1:08:21); Advice for undergrads



    Links to the books mentioned ***NOT affiliate links***

    Getting to Maybe: https://amzn.to/2YXFyF1

    Finite and Infinite Games: https://amzn.to/3tEHyA1

    The Importance of Living: https://amzn.to/3aH1Hww

    Presence: https://amzn.to/3a1m6xq

    • 1 hr 12 min

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